4 Fun Ways to Use Photographs to Teach Your Child the ABCs

5th April 2016

Is your child learning the ABCs? A growing body of research indicates that when kids view learning as something enjoyable, rather than a tedious obligation, they’ll be more alert, more engaged and better able to retain new information.

So what can you personally do to help your child associate learning with fun?

Bob Books has asked educator and professor of Art, Marvin Bartel, Ed.D, his thoughts on how kids can feel engaged and personal about learning the ABC: 

As an art educator I would like to see kids have a chance to practice their own creativity, I would probably flip the concept and let kids find the things, people, memories, etc. and draw pictures for the book. The kid could make the book. Kids need to learn ABCs but they also need to learn that they can draw whatever they want to. Those that draw their own ideas without being shown how to draw things will learn to observe for themselves and become more confident in their own abilities to learn as well as develop drawing confidence. 

As for taking pictures, kids learn more when they learn to aim the camera, frame the composition, and so on. I would let them do it. They would remember the ABCs better if they took the pictures and learned experientially.” - Marvin Bartel, Ed.D, Emeritus Professor of Art - Goshen College

While there are many ways to spice up learning, one way to do this at home is to use familiar objects or photographs as teaching tools, and with the Bob Books ABC Book App, you can create a personalised alphabet book using just your phone or tablet and bit of imagination.

Ready to try it out for yourself? Here are a few fun ideas for turning your own photographs into ABC books that will bring lessons alive for your child.


1. Take photos of familiar objects around the home

It’s often easier and more amusing for kids to practice their ABCs when they’re already familiar with the things pictured, so you could compile photos of familiar toys or other household objects your child uses and interacts with on a daily basis.

For instance, “D” could be a photo of their favourite doll or dinosaur toy and “R” could be a picture of the refrigerator stocked with a few of their favourite snacks.


2. Create a little family tree

Creating an alphabet book using photographs of family members, friends and relatives is a fun way to help your child learn their ABCs, and it can also help them remember the names of all their aunts and uncles, nephews, nieces, and grandparents.

If you haven’t got relatives whose names start with letters like Q or X, and most of us don’t, giving each person a creative little tagline can make it easier. For instance “C is for Cool Aunt Mary” and “X is for your eXtremely fun nephew Tim,” and so on.


3. Compile some of your fondest memories

If you want to put your photos of happy family outings or even amusing everyday occurrences to good use, an ABC book is one way to make sure they don’t end up catching dust.

For instance, “N” could be for “Naptime” and would be accompanied by a photo of your child sleeping, or “V” could be for “Vegetables” and you could include a baby photo of your child enjoying a bowl of peas and carrots.


4. Use photos of familiar places

Using photographs of places your child has been to or visits regularly can also be fun, and you can add a little description of what can be done in each place. For instance, “P” could be for the park where they go to play after naptime, “B” could be for the bedroom where they sleep each night, and “Z” might be for the zoo they visited with their grandmother.

Of course you may need to get a bit creative to find familiar locations for each letter of the alphabet, but the end result will be an entertaining little chronicle of your child’s early life.